JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The 1st District Court of Appeal ruled Tuesday that the University of North Florida and other state cannot regulate guns on its campus.
The ruling from the panel of 15 members, means that students have the right to have a concealed weapon locked securely in their cars at UNF, as long as they have the proper permits. The ruling was 12-3 for striking down the policy at UNF that prohibited firearms from being stowed in cars.
UNF's "no guns" policy was challenged in 2011 by the gun rights group Florida Carry. They filed a suit against the school stating school districts can set gun policy, but that UNF is not a school district, and Florida law gives college students the right to keep guns "securely encased" in their cars.
In their conclusion they state: "UNF policies and regulations, to the extent it prohibits possession of securely encased firearms in motor vehicles, is illegal and unenforceable."
COURT DOCUMENT: Appeals court ruling
Eric Friday , an attorney for Florida Carry says the panel simply reaffirmed the Florida's 26-year-old law.
"People like the University of North Florida, its president and its administrators, and other universities have ignored the law. Day after day, year after year. Finally the court has said no more," Friday said.
A statement released by UNF on Tuesday said only, "We are reviewing the opinion, and we will be discussing possible options with our attorneys."
UNF students have mixed views on the ruling.
"I am looking forward to getting my concealed weapon, but I don't think it needs to be on campus for the simple fact that having weapons on campus heightens things to get more violet," said UNF junior Susan Kurilla.
"I feel like you should have the right to protect yourself, but at the same time I think it opens doors for more bad things to happen," said UNF junior Megan Mclain.
Senior Luke Bratton thinks guns on campus will keep bad things from getting worse.
"Just our protection. Our personal protection," Bratton said.